The racers would pour, in front of the tires, liquid rosin (VHT) on the track, then burnout through the sticky puddle. Tommy discovered that if you added a little gasoline to that mix, it would fling up in the air on the burnout and be ignited by the nitro-flames from the headers!



So, of course, if a little was good, more was better. But when they added more gasoline, as you can see in this picture, the flames would come into the cockpit - WRONG...!!! The driver got plenty of flames in the cockpit when the engines exploded, we didn't need to add to that.



So, back to the drawing boards. But, when they put the engine behind the driver, it no longer made any difference how much fire there was - all your troubles were behind you. SOMEBODY GRAB THAT GAS-CAN...!!!



Now they really got after it, adding more and more gasoline - and the flames got bigger and bigger. BTW - notice in the background of this photo that the candy apple paint on the push truck matched TV Tommy Ivo's dragster's candy apple blue paint scheme - how very COOL...!!!



And bigger and bigger the flames did get. But, all good things must come to an end. Everybody started doing it and the gasoline begain to kill the asphalt track surface, so it was susequently banned. NUTS...!!!



Tommy went to OCIR to shoot a magazine cover and did a fiery burnout in the shut off area. Two gallons of gas were used first, and although the fire laced smoke was an interesting effect, it was "close but no cigar"...!!!



So, on this next shot, a full FIVE (5) gallons of gas was used and - poof! Besides taking all the hair off the front of the gas dumpers face, Ivo got what he considers the best photo of his racing career. This photo was used EVERYWHERE...!!!



With eight magazine covers and so much more, why not do it again with the funny car...!!! But special precautions were taken. The chutes were removed and a thick layer of Vaseline was smeared on the back half to protect the paint.


The jet car was a firebugs dream. At the night races, they'd dim the lights, then when Ivo hit the fire, all the stands looked black to him. Blink, then all he saw were thousands of smiling teeth reflecting the light back...!!!


Back to Top


Home   Drag Racing    Movies  Gallery  Museums   Links    Contact Us        Sitemap